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Transcript of doorstop: Wednesday, 28 May 2003: Parliament house, Canberra:Baby bonus.



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Transcript

BOB McMULLAN MP SHADOW TREASURER SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE ARTS

FEDERAL MEMBER FOR FRASER

TRANSCRIPT OF DOORSTOP, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, WEDNESDAY, 28 MAY 2003, PARLIAMENT HOUSE, CANBERRA

E & OE - PROOF ONLY

Subject: Baby bonus

MCMULLAN: We have today received information from the government that proves once again what a failure and what an unfair policy their Baby Bonus policy is. We have established that last financial year, 3000 mothers got absolutely nothing because the government took all their entitlement to Baby Bonus to pay the government’s bills, instead of to pay the money that was due to the mothers to pay the bills for their children.

We now also know that only about half the mothers who had babies in 2001-02 got any money from the Baby Bonus and even some of those who got it, the government took some or all of it back to pay tax and other bills to the government instead of leaving it for the mothers to pay for the cost of their children.

It is an unfair policy. It delivers the most money to the people who need it least. The more you have, the more you get, and it doesn’t deliver the money to families when they need it. And now we find thousands, and in some circumstances, hundreds of thousands of mothers are getting nothing out of this policy. The government ought to scrap it, and reallocate the money to assist families more efficiently and more fairly.

JOURNALIST: Do we have a ball-park figure of how much money wasn’t allocated to new mothers?

MCMULLAN: Other information suggests that it is about $100 million that the mothers are short over the two years - the first two years of the operation of the scheme. The government said they would provide $335 million of assistance to mothers. In the Budget, they have only budgeted for $230 million. That is $100 million they have taken away from mothers and families. And we want to challenge the Treasurer, who is responsible for this: will you guarantee that all that $100 million will be allocated to families for other support programs?

When we abolish this program, we will guarantee that every dollar will go to assist mothers and families more efficiently and more fairly.

END

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